Honolulu Declares Confucius Institute Day
On June 21, nearly 300 North American and Oceanian Confucius Institutes gathered in Honolulu for a Joint Conference. Participants included 20 university presidents; approximately 240 Chinese and host-country directors of 107 U.S. Confucius Institutes, 12 Canadian Confucius Institutes, and 17 Oceanian Confucius Institutes; around 20 delegates from 15 U.S. and five Oceanian Confucius classrooms; and approximately 10 members of boards of the Asia Society and the College Board in the U.S. (1)
In a proclamation letter, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the day is “in recognition of its commitment to education and friendship between the people of Hawaii and China.” (2) The primary discussion during the conference was the topic of sustainable development of the institutes and several other issues regarding Confucius Institutes.
“The 21st century which is the century of Asia Pacific Rim, nothing could be more important than the mission of the Confucius Institutes, as China is in the center of that proposition,” said Former Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie. (3)
An Educational Gift Delivered to an African Village
“In Confucius’ mind, peace is achieved through harmony, and harmony is maintained by virtues, and virtues can be cultivated in every human being through education.” (1)
A Confucius Institute is helping to bring the teachings of Confucius to those who live far from the Confucian cultural area of East Asia. On June 3, the Confucius Institute in Benin, West Africa, brought sage’s teachings to deprived children at Abomey Calavi SOS Children’s Village. There are 11 classes and 105 children in the village, most of them were orphans. Besides these children, over 3,000 Beninese of diverse social backgrounds enrolled for Chinese language learning at the Confucius Institute as well as in public and private universities and secondary schools in Benin. (2)
Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute Liu Anping and Benin Director Julien gave learning materials like Chinese books and Chinese characters tracing books to the children as gifts on behalf of the Confucius Institute.
Julien said in the gift-giving ceremony that, “When we sent books and toys to children, we did not only intend to bring happiness to them, we also hoped to give them a chance to change their future by themselves.” (3)
To read more and view photos from the visit click here.